In the wake of Kathryn Bigelow‘s Zero Dark Thirty, Jessica Chastain was basking in the glow of worldwide critical praise and a Best Actress Oscar nomination for her performance as Maya, a CIA officer who was super-focused on the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden. She was sitting on top of the world. She won the Golden Globe Award Best Actress for this performance, and was thereafter hailed for her strong turns in A Most Violent Year (’14), Miss Sloane (’16) and Molly’s Game (’17).
And now she’s about to costar in a New Line horror film, i.e., a sequel to Andy Muschietti‘s It? If you were Chastain, would you go up against Pennywise at this stage in your career? Something happens to a dramatic actress’s brand when she descends into horror.
Chastain is doing this for the dough, of course, but think of what happened to Vera Farmiga when she switched from sophisticated adult dramas (Down to the Bone, The Manchurian Candidate, Breaking and Entering, The Departed, Up in the Air) to that four-year Bates Motel series and those Conjuring movies and Liam Neeson schlock like The Commuter. She’s in Jason Reitman‘s The Front Runner, true, but she’s mainly identified with pulp these days. She’s more or less regarded as a scream queen.